Imagine Schools

www.imagineschools.com

Imagine Schools Reviews

Updated September 18, 2014
Updated September 18, 2014
33 Reviews
2.0
33 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Dennis W. Bakke
21 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great place to work at

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Imagine Schools full-time

    Pros

    Tight community, fun people, learn a different perspective on education and how it affects the country

    Cons

    Honestly, I can't think of any cons. This was a great place to be at. I hope to come back here one day.

  2.  

    Too Many Chiefs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Imagine Schools full-time

    Pros

    Great friendships are formed with employees and watching the children grow.

    Cons

    Too many people in charge...yet no one wants to make decision. They often just talk and talk about situations without any action. No one wants to make a decision in case it's the wrong one and they become the target of talks.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Narrow the "Chiefs" into specific issue solvers so the employees know who to contact and who will offer support to the issue.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    This cronyism company is all about the money! It did not feel like a school it was clearly a business.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Imagine Schools full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The pros are that you get to work with the community, most of which are underprivileged youth and their families so that in and of itself is the only benefit.

    Cons

    The cons are the management is extremely lazy. Cronyism runs rampant throughout this company. They make money under the guise of a real estate company and pay much lower than competing schools. Leadership was never around. Teachers are paid so little they leave for better jobs and rightfully so. Staff is basically a sales staff based on commission. They are told if you want raises you need to get more kids. The problem is if you get more kids you need more staff so its a laughing circle. If you are outspoken you will get fired/not asked back. If you work here keep quiet... They don't want new ideas and innovative people they want sheep to add students to keep their money machines open. If a school closes they just open the same building under a new name. They truly believe in quantity not quality. They hire incompetent regional directors based on friendships and convenience. Teachers and principals constantly get let go but not regional directors because once they are in they are in no matter how bad the region fails. The reason is there is no accountability held on the regional directors. Corruption here. It takes work to do interviews but management is so lazy they dont interview for regional directors they hire who they want open and shut.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Visit your schools! Hire people based on merit, not on who knows them and who likes them, especially regional directors. By all means make your money but you get what you out in. Keep teachers by giving raises. Stop opening schools until you fix the ones that are failing due to lack of terrible regional management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Full time job, but unpaid over time and terrible management and administration.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Teaching Assistant in Phoenix, AZ
    Former Employee - Teaching Assistant in Phoenix, AZ

    I worked at Imagine Schools full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    If you like opportunities, this is the right place for you. There's a lot of room for creativity and teamwork.

    Cons

    You have to be ready to hit the ground running. Management and administration is unfortunately lacking, lots of questionable decisions when it comes to budgeting. Salaries are also rather stagnant.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Great Company with excellent values

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teacher in Morningside, Prince George's, MD
    Current Employee - Teacher in Morningside, Prince George's, MD

    I have been working at Imagine Schools full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The whole premise of the school is to give the power to the teachers. If you don't like something, change it. His philosophy is that the teachers are in the trenches and they know the real issues. The teachers are educated individuals capable of making decisions. So if you think dismissal takes too long, create a task force, brainstorm solutions, and fix it! Dennis Bakke has an excellent philosophy.

    Cons

    The problem with the philosophy is if the leader of the school doesn't "get it" then obviously the leader is going to make all the decisions and not let the staff. School leaders need to be trained.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Teacher

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Teacher in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Teacher in Atlanta, GA

    I worked at Imagine Schools full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The staff members at the school really were a great team!

    Cons

    Overall company seems to just be in it for the money. Not truly concerned about employees or student's well beings.

    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Not for everyone

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teacher in Clermont, FL
    Current Employee - Teacher in Clermont, FL

    I have been working at Imagine Schools full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The philosophy behind the company is great along with the focus on character education, and I work with some of the best students in the district.

    Cons

    Good teachers ultimately get more responsibility, which makes the work-life balance very difficult to manage. Lots of extra meetings and duties beyond the lessons and teaching. Also much lower salaries than in the district. Lack of technology that works consistently; most is outdated.

    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Great People

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Columbus, OH
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Columbus, OH

    I worked at Imagine Schools full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great concept, supportive people, loved the empowering atmosphere. I would definately work for them again. Good benifits.

    Cons

    I didn't really see a lot of down sides.

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Three Year Vet

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Imagine Schools full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Quite a few people got away with not doing anything for entire school years, which I guess is pretty sweet if you are one of them and do not have a conscience. Good jobs to have at imagine that don't require much of anything: data teacher, academic coach, principal, assistant principal, title coordinator, sped coordinator, business office, tutor, title teacher, parent, family advocate.

    Cons

    Imagine buys a building, sells it to an affiliate, then rents it back. The transaction sequence of the value of the building looks something like this: $700,000.00, $2,000,000.00, $10,000,000.00. Imagine makes tons of government money by doing this and preaching "economic sustainability".

    This means that the school must maintain a huge number of students just to make rent, which is typically 40-50 percent of its entire budget. Most imagine principals are not qualified and have marketing backgrounds.

    This leads to oversized classrooms, vast behavior problems, refusal to expel, reliance on first year teachers willing to volunteer overtime, sending staff door to door to market on professional development days, students doing whatever they want, parents doing whatever they want, and staff members doing whatever they want.

    The SPED department was way under staffed and came nowhere close to meeting weekly goals. The counselor spent most of her time removing screaming children from classrooms, and had to substitute teach at times. Due to a reliance on grants because of the rent being so high, teachers were constantly having to assess their students with the different methods required by each grant. The disciplinarian had to stay in the ISS room all day, and was constantly being attacked by the children. All staff was barred from any PD that cost money, except the principal and assistant principal. They were very rarely in the building, and were allowed to drive Escalade's on a beach for a week at a "professional development" during a March school week. The few PD's at the school were about imagine's creepy philosophy.

    Jobs you don't want at Imagine: teacher, disciplinarian, counselor, day janitor, substitute, bus driver, bus duty, lunch monitor, art/gym/other teacher.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Break off from imagine if you want to be an effective school. The budget constraints are ridiculous.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Don't teach here; Don't let YOUR kids go there

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Imagine Schools

    Pros

    There are some wonderful teachers who are very caring and talented. The retention rate for their Prep at Coolidge is not good.

    Cons

    This organization is top heavy. Teachers are given no direction, curriculum, resources to teach with, or respect from upper management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cut some of your principals. Look at your teacher and student retention. You need to be asking "Why are we losing highly qualified teachers and good students? Why do the teachers who teach here NOT have their own children enrolled in our school at this location?"

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

Imagine Schools Photos

Photos of the Imagine Classical Academy building in Firestone, CO that will be built in Colorado Springs (Photo thanks to Flickr user clintara All rights reserved.)

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